Hello, I am a convert and still in the process of RCIA. I am hungering for more understanding and encounter with the Eucharist. Here are some questions perhaps you could help me answer: is the Eucharist the ultimate fulfillment of all our desires? Does our christian faith culminate in the Eucharist? If the Eucharist is the center and summit of all catholic life, why is the Divine Mercy message “Jesus, I trust in you,” and not something like “Jesus in the Eucharist, I trust in you?” I am struggling to grow my trust in the Lord. If I keep trusting, will the Lord lead me to the Eucharist? Or will there be something more? This is all very confusing to me. Please share any thoughts you have. Thanks!
Great question, and may God bless you on your journey through RCIA. I am not a priest, Deacon, or any such, so I can only speak for my thoughts. Plus, I come from a convert background, having grown up in Primitive Baptist/Church of Christ denominations.
The long and short of it is, yes the Eucharist is the culmination of our Christian Faith. The Protestants sell it short. To them it is only a memory. Why would Jesus feel the need to be memorialized in the bread? An ego trip? “Do this in memory of me!” So the Protestants do that in memory of Jesus. “Hey, remember Jesus? Heckuva guy! Pass the grape juice”. Please forgive my satiric tone, but if the Eucharist was only meant as a memorial, then it should have very little significance at all.
The Catholic belief, that it is Jesus in body, blood, soul, and divinity, makes the only sense. Jesus instituted the Eucharist because it was something REAL, something absolutely VITAL and CRITICAL to our salvation. He didn’t just want to be remembered, he wanted the disciples to do this and remember exactly what they were doing, which was partaking of the real flesh and blood of Jesus. A simple memory of someone is nothing special. Remembering that you are partaking of the actual Savior, though, is extremely solemn and important. He was telling us not to lose sight of what the Eucharist is.
As for the Divine Mercy devotion, “Jesus I Trust In You”, Jesus and the Eucharist are one and the same. If you invoke Jesus name, there is no more difference in saying “Jesus”, “Jesus, Son of God”, “Jesus, Prince of Peace”, or “Jesus of the Eucharist”. They’re all Jesus.
The sad reality, though, is that a significant number of Catholics do not truly believe in the Real Presence. They go to partake in the Holy Eucharist with no more thought to what they are doing than eating dinner at their own homes.